Peabody honors Revolutionary War heroes at Patriots’ Day ceremony
A little more than 242 years ago, seven Peabody men (then from South Danvers) died defending their country from injustices. The city honored these men for their deeds at a solemn ceremony last Monday, held at the War Memorial on the corner of Sewall and Washington Streets. Surrounded by local dignitaries, including the mayor, veterans, Reverend Dr. Bert White and residents, their present-day counterparts fired off shots from their muskets to commemorate the occasion. Nearby, veteran commandant in the Marine Corps Steve Coddens played “Taps” from his bugle.
Calling the fallen men “saints,” Reverend White told a narrative of the first few days of the war and asked attendees to reflect on the “humiliation” and “inhuman bloodshed” of those days. He called attention to the fact that many of the fallen were “just boys” at 21 years old. He then led a prayer.
“As I look at the names on this statue, I think of the times we are in today,” Peabody Historical Society President Richard St. Pierre, who helped organize the event, remarked moments later. “We are living in some pretty dangerous times. These men who paid the ultimate sacrifice were living in dangerous times, too. I like to think that the spirit and the sacrifices they made remind of us of the ideals we have as Americans.”
“So many times our nation is tested.” said Mayor Ted Bettencourt, who paused to reflect on the occasion. “These men who sacrificed for our country, to build our country, are something special.”
Samuel Cook, 33, Benjamin Daland, 25, George Southwick, 25, Jotham Webb, 22, and Ebenezer Goldthwaite, 21, rested yards away. Jacobs, 21, is buried at the Jacobs Family Cemetery, while the locations of Putnam, 21, and Webb, 21, are unknown – although they are believed to lie in Danvers.
The group bravely descended on Lexington on April 19, 1775, to fight the British soldiers in a battle that would set off the Revolutionary War and eventually lead to American independence. Led by Colonel Pickering, the seven men were of an original 477 of local Boston-area troops that fought the British that day, which brought them through Arlington (Menotomy), Lexington and Concord; 49 were killed in the battle, with 39 wounded and 5 missing. The seven Danvers men were killed in a particularly violent skirmish at the Jason Russell house in Menotomy, when the British soldiers attacked them with bayonets.
Last Monday, they were represented by the Danvers Alarm List, a modern day adaptation of the actual “alarm list” – a regiment serving as the last line of defense, typically composed of elderly men who remained in their homes. Henry Rutkowski, Bill Clemens, Dan Cripps, Skip Wiley, Jim Driscoll and Billy Clemens represented the fallen men, dressed in authentic military uniform of the time period.
“It means everything,” said veteran of the 2nd Corps Cadets Ron Morneau of the ceremony. “[The revolutionary war] was the beginning of our freedom. Morneau is the commander of the Veterans Association; its office is at the armory in Danvers. Joined by fellow cadets Jim Sweet and Russ Bowden, Morneau said he was thankful for the sacrifices of the seven men celebrated last Monday. Looking to the future, he said that that we should be careful not to take our liberty for granted – “We must not be complacent.”
By Melanie Higgins
Northshore Mall brings the heat with renovations, additions
In Greek mythology, when one head of the Hydra is cut off, two grows in its place. That is certainly the case for the Northshore Mall, where Bancroft & Co. and Tony C’s Sports Bar & Grill will replace the late P.F. Chang’s. The huge Asian restaurant, which came with the mall’s last renovation in 2008, closed last week.
Tony C’s Sports Bar & Grill, named in honor of the legendary Red Sox outfielder and Revere native, Tony Conigliaro, will be a sports-themed restaurant. It will primarily serve “contemporary American comfort food” and will naturally offer HD television screens to catch the game. Bancroft & Co., which brands itself as a “modern steakhouse” that also specializes in craft cocktails, will also be making its way in the mall. Bancroft, according to its press release, will be 10,000 square feet in total, with two floors. Meals will be served up by head chef Mario Capone.
“We are really looking forward to introducing these two popular restaurants to shoppers here at Northshore Mall, creating a dining destination that will cater to a wide variety of preferences,” said Mark Whiting, Northshore Mall’s Manager, in a press release. “These redevelopment plans have been in the works for some time, and we have kept the community and our shoppers’ comfort and convenience top of mind by designing an inviting atmosphere for dining and socializing both inside and out. We can’t wait to share further details of our vision, and we will be announcing the additional dining concepts in the near future.”
In the accompanying press release, the mall revealed that the restaurants would also come with significant updates to the exterior of the building along with experiential upgrades. Those include the placement of an “outdoor stage” that can be used for performances, and outdoor patios for alfresco dining.
The changes are notable in light of the recent strategies of nearby competitor MarketStreet, which is also currently trying to move towards more “experiential” offerings. Developer Ted Tye, who manages the sprawling outdoor mall, has warned of the decline of malls with the increased popularity of online sales, and said that the way to keep malls relevant is to offer products that customers can “engage” in. Tye notably used this pitch to try to bring a movie theatre to the mall, which would join its other “experiential” offerings, such as golf, yoga and painting.
In a phone call, Whiting rejected any notion that malls are in trouble, and refused to comment on MarketStreet’s strategy. He also declined to comment on whether the renovations were part of a trend among malls nationwide – according to Tye – which is adding experiential components to their offerings. He pointed to the throngs of thousands of people at the mall on Black Friday as evidence that any speculation of the mall’s decline is a myth.
“Malls are a highly social experience and are flourishing,” Whiting said. “We’re trying to build on that trend.”
He did acknowledge that constant change and attention to trends is important in its future. He said that the key to any business’s success is staying ahead of the trends and constantly evolving, two key approaches that have helped the mall remain alive for more than half a century.
“I think we offer a highly relevant experience, and outdoor dining is a very important trend to embrace,” Whiting said.
The Northshore Mall was built in 1958 and remains a stalwart on the North Shore in terms of shopping experience. “Anchored” by Nordstrom, JC Penney, and Macy’s, the mall also brings in top-notch retailers, such as Pink and H&M, and more recently, Brooks Brothers and Michael Kors.
Construction on the restaurants and renovations will begin at the end of this month and should be completed by the following April.
By Melanie Higgins